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WATERMELLEN's Recent Blog Entries

Next Best Thing to Running . . .

Sunday, December 30, 2012

. . . (which I really shouldn't attempt much any more) has to be cross country skiing!

Skiing is so much easier on the hips and knees: just like the elliptical cross trainer instead of the treadmill or track. Which I do still use from time to time, cautiously and with Pace technique (short stride, rapid cadence, mid foot landing).

But: my cautious running is mostly indoors now. And cross country skiing gets me outdoors! Like running did, all those years when I foolishly clocked 10 km a day on the roads and trails, hitting hard on the heels, without strength training to stabilize the core and joints . . . sigh.

Yesterday the sky was a pale soft grey. The snow was powdery, deep. The wax was perfect: no slip, lots of grip, but absolute ease of glide. A few friendly chickadees. And my favourite sound: whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. Love the flick of the pole forward, the kick and the pull. What a workout!

Today the sky is bright blue and everything is sparkling. It's colder: I'll need my neck gaiter pulled up over my chin and lots of lip balm. And sunglasses!

Winter can be terrific. I'm loving it!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ISHIIGIRL 1/1/2013 9:19AM

    Thanks for sharing. I wish I could just walk out the door and do the cross country. It is a little bit of a drive for us to be able to do that but I have heard this analogy before. I have only tried it a few times, but really enjoyed it when I did it!

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_LINDA 12/31/2012 12:23AM

    That is fantastic! A zen experience :) Love your poetic description -felt I was right there with you :))
My Mom used to love cross country skiing. I never tried it though. Our winters were just too cold for me to enjoy much of. Bundling up so all you can see out of is a slit and you walk stiff like a robot from all the layers that it doesn't leave much flexibility for activity (but was great for cushioning if you had a hard landing tobogganing :P) I am hoping to try my hand at snowshoeing though.
I am so glad you found an activity you can enjoy almost as much as running -shame it doesn't go year round for you (have you ever thought of roller skiing in the summer?)
Keep on Enjoying -hope it doesn't get too cold for you!

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PHEBESS 12/31/2012 12:07AM

    Love X country!

Remember the sunscreen too!

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ADVENTURESEEKER 12/30/2012 6:42PM

    That sounds like fun!

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CMRAND54 12/30/2012 12:40PM

    It does sound like fun. I guess I wouldn't be cold after a few minutes.

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DALID414 12/30/2012 11:53AM

    You make it sound so fun. It would be wasted on me, I'm miserable in the cold.

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NITTINNANA 12/30/2012 11:35AM

    Sounds like fun!

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LINDAKAY228 12/30/2012 11:22AM

    Sounds like so much fun! Unfortunately in southern New Mexico we don't get enough snow for real snow activities. Glad you found something you enjoy so much and gives you a great workout!

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EVER-HOPEFUL 12/30/2012 11:07AM

    glad you are loving the winter and the winter sports that go with it.keep on keeping on you are doing great love. emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/30/2012 11:03AM

    Sounds great! Glad you have the conditions for a sport you can enjoy! emoticon (Yeah, I know, not a cross country icon!)

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TRAVELGRRL 12/30/2012 10:13AM

    *sigh*

As we get older we definitely need to monitor and adjust, adjust and adapt...I'm not a fan of being outside in the cold so cross-country skiing is not for me. However, it is only 18 degrees here right now and we're heading out in a few minutes for our walk!

I'm glad it works for you, and I've heard it's a fantastic workout with lots of calorie burning!
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KANOE10 12/30/2012 10:11AM

    Great job of exercising in the snow. I did not realize the treadmill was harder on the hips than the elliptical. I just tried an a new lateral machine yesterday..It was wierd going from side to side.

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WILLOWBROOK5 12/30/2012 10:04AM

    Sounds wonderful. I used to love cross country skiing, but it hurts my worse knee (both are bad) so it isn't something I can do any more. Hope you have a wonderful time today!

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NANCY- 12/30/2012 9:51AM

    Let it snow!
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STARDUSTD 12/30/2012 9:31AM

  So glad skiing can take running's place for you. emoticon emoticon

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LADYJ6942 12/30/2012 9:26AM

    Sounds like a wonderful day. I'd love to try it, one day I will but first I have to have the money. Enjoy

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KATRINAKRAUT 12/30/2012 9:26AM

    I love to XC skiing. unfortunately I currently have to drive a couple of hours to get to snow but we have a place in Colorado and when I am there I can walk out the door and ski. I also like the Après ski endorphins and joining the local ski crowd at one of the watering holes for live music and a drink. But when I am out skiing and I can hear my breath and my heart beat, I feel totally alive and in the moment. It is fun to see the tracks in the snow. The feathery touch of eagle/hawk's wings or the pounce of a fox as they seek out a mouse under the snow. The otter's belly slide as they play by the river. The "snowplow" of Elk antler's searching for grass or tender branches. What is not to like?!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/30/2012 9:21AM

    Yeah I agree. My arthritic knee doesn't allow running anymore except on the elliptical. (Pushing through my heels, using my posterior chain rather than on the balls of my feet.)

XC skiing is the only thing that comes close to that feeling of flying...

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(I guess I should qualify that - hucking over a waterfall feels like flying too. But in a different way.)

...plan to head out myself and break some trails in the adjacent state park this afternoon after church.

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Comment edited on: 12/30/2012 9:23:54 AM

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Alternative Abundance! Always on Offer!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5176487



BOOKAPHILE has a terrific blog post today on the "Problems of Abundance". It's a seasonal issue, that's for sure -- especially when the dessert table is loaded with options!

As my comment on BOOKAPHILE's blog confesses, I did participate in conventional
abundance yesterday -- enjoying my daughter's wonderful spicy smashed potatoes, a fabulous key lime pie brought along by my brother-in-law. A full serving of Christmas dinner. But with some moderation.

Because even for one day, I can't eat without any restraint. Mostly because it's not the immediate calories that are gonna cause me problems -- it's the triggering effect of excessive indulgence going forward.

My leftovers are in the freezer, including all of the raspberry pie I had planned to serve myself. And yeah, it may be that some portion of leftovers will end up in the waste disposal eventually.

But not on my waist: not happening.

So: does that mean absence of holiday joy? Excluding myself from abundance?

No. No. No.

BOOKAPHILE's blog made me recall a hilarious conversation I had with my wonderful hairdresser at my last haircut just before Christmas.

Hair guy is an amazing person who also teaches in the local college aesthetics program, He mentioned to me that he'd set a semester exam using the word "abundance" and one of his students objected strenuously: she had never heard the term before. I suggested to him that maybe for his purposes the definition of "abundance" could involve knotting the hair on top of the head and shimmying the hips . . . yeah!

How sad is that -- to be adult-age and so vocab-challenged as to be unfamiliar with "abundance".

Which reminded me (and I need this reminder continuously) that I'm vocab-challenged myself when it comes to my own definition of abundance. Because to maintain weight loss I've gotta challenge my own persistent association of "abundance" with food, food and more food.

Food only. So if I can't eat whatever I wanna eat I'm deprived. Excluded from abundance. Adam and Eve exiled from Paradise!! Wahhhhhhhhh!!

So long as I persist in that association of abundance as "food only", I'll be at danger for lapsing in my maintenance goals.

To succeed in maintaining weight loss, I've gotta search out and consciously engage with the abundance of pleasure that life has perpetually on offer for me. I have to find different non-food ways of enjoying abundance. Notice them. Savour them.

Because the human experience of abundance IS key to contentment, that's for sure!

And I have to remind myself: even if I think it will, overeating doesn't result in contentment.

Just temporary excess content in my stomach. And permanent excess weight in my jeans!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANCY- 12/27/2012 7:00AM

    My favorite way of enjoying abundance is to take several slow deep breaths. It slow me down enough to see the abundance around me:
The air, the trees, the wildlife, the flowing river, the sand on a beach warm beneath my feet.
The warmth in my home. My routines.
Realizing what needs are... as opposed to wants.
Abundance is having the need met.
Slow down and breathe.
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TRYINGHARD1948 12/27/2012 2:51AM

    Ia am so glad that we do not need to limit the abundance of love and joy we have but remember always to be thankful for all the wonderful blessings we have.

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_LINDA 12/26/2012 11:57PM

    I actually don't have a problem associating abundance with other things. The bridge club members show me an abundance of wealth as they go south in the winter, to the cottage in the summer and fantastic trip after trip to exotic places. The nice cars in the parking lot, the nice clothes and accessories, etc. etc -the list goes on. How well to do our Canada is when you compare it to other countries, yes we all have an abundance of possessions, food, etc. I put forward its this excess, this not lacking of anything , that allows us to overindulge, because there is just so much out there, and perhaps you were brought up not to waste anything. I have trouble throwing things out that are perfectly good. When you hear of starving people, right in your own city to waste any food is just so wrong. But I sure would like to see a lot less of it prepared. My Mom is always so concerned she will run out as my family are all big eaters. And its so true one little taste of everything still leads to a heaping plateful :(
This is why I can do maintenance fine as a single with no social commitments, but have trouble with family get togethers. Its food I loved as a kid and only see at these once a year gatherings. The struggle never ends and the vigilance must be ever on.

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CMRAND54 12/26/2012 8:06PM

    Great blog. Thank you for the reminder that abundance can mean more than food.

I have an abundance of food in my life, an abundance of books, furniture, clothes, electronics, and most importantly, an abundance of love. I am a very fortunate woman. One of my goals for the coming year is to share some of my abundance with those less fortunate than I.

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PHEBESS 12/26/2012 5:45PM

    We need to learn to enjoy the abundance of love, warmth, family, friends, all that - and yes, learn that abundance isn't only about food.

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SLENDERELLA61 12/26/2012 4:38PM

    I enjoyed her blog. Thanks for pointing me in that direction. Now, I'm trying to figure out why I don't feel deprived. I don't. I ate within my calorie range yesterday. I cooked big and ate moderately. I am thankful for the satisfaction I feel!! I've kind of gotten into a habit. While someone else usually blesses the food (and I am grateful we have an abundance of food), I quietly say thanks for the feeling of satisfaction when it comes after I am done eating!

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PHOENIX1949 12/26/2012 1:12PM

    Your comment "the triggering effect of excessive indulgence going forward" really resonated with me. When I have indulged in trigger items (often staying within my calorie range), it takes me several days to reset my thinking and stay away from them - if I avoided in the first place, my journey to my goal would be nearer. Thanks for making me think about this. My nutritional balance is a key portion of this new lifestyle - not just the calorie range and weight loss.

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SEATTLE58 12/26/2012 1:06PM

    emoticon blog!!

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DALID414 12/26/2012 11:32AM

    I had no idea SP had a grouping for Christmas Dinner! (I'm commenting on the comment you wrote on bookaphile's page)

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EVER-HOPEFUL 12/26/2012 11:15AM

    emoticon

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KANOE10 12/26/2012 11:11AM

    I like your focus on finding joy in non food abundance and pleasures of life. I think abundance readily turns into overindulgence with the holidays and food.

This season, I am making fewer dishes and getting rid of food gifts.

Nice inspirational blog. Thanks for the link to the other great blog.

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BOOKAPHILE 12/26/2012 11:02AM

    Thanks for linking to my blog today, Ellen. Wow! You've made some very good points.

I SO identified with your phrase "the triggering effect of excessive indulgence going forward." That's why I try not to bring much rich food home with me. If I don't see it, I often don't miss it.

I didn't mean to imply that abundance is only found in food. That was just the context in which my struggle took place. I think we can tend to turn food abundance into overindulgence quite easily.

Thanks for your insights!



Comment edited on: 12/26/2012 11:03:21 AM

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JENNIK2 12/26/2012 10:42AM

    emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

What do I wanna eat? What will taste best?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

*leaning in the fridge and surveying the possibilities*
*opening the cupboard and poking around*
*looking at the menu*
*checking out the banquet table*

Nope.

"What do I wanna eat?" is never a good question for me.

I wanna eat cheese. With buttered bread. Crusty hot white baguette, preferably. Potato chips (none in my cupboard, of course). Dip. Cookies. Or granola bars if that's all there is, And that's all there is. There. At my house.

Hmm. There is frozen pizza. I could do that. Yeah.

Handfuls of nuts? Yeah!! Spoonfuls of peanut butter? Why not. While the pizza heats up. Sure.

If I'm at a restaurant (where I was planning on a salad till I pick up the menu: that changes everything of course) what happens when I ask myself . . . What do I wanna eat? French fries? Always. Fat juicy cheeseburger? Of course. Large Coke!!

OK then, special occasion banquet table. What do I wanna eat? Deep fried everything, natch. And let's check out the desserts. Chocolate cheesecake looks great. And the hot fudge chocolate brownie sundae. And the chocolate mousse . . . gotta theme going on here. They're all sitting there. Why not one of each? To "share", of course. Or . . . maybe not. Just this once.

Gotta face facts. I wanna eat all of 'em.

In unlimited quantities, basically. Every day.

So "What do I wanna eat" isn't the question if the answer I'm looking for is . . . a healthy, fit and slim body.

What would be the right question? It's gotta be, " What do I need to eat?"

Food is fuel. Yes it is.

If I'm asking the right question, the Spark nutrition tracker is very helpful. That's because the nutrition tracker isn't just counting calories. It's counting carbs, fats and proteins. Mine is also set to track a whole whack of other nutrients: minerals and vitamins and fibre and . . . yeah.

So if it's suppertime and I've still got 400 calories to "spend" . . . what do I need? More protein? Probably. And calcium too? A little vitamin C still missing? Yup. So what to choose? If I ask myself, "What do I need to eat?", then the answer would be, maybe, some fat free Greek yogourt? Some fresh raspberries?

How self-depriving is that? Taking all the fun out of life. *big pout*

OK. News flash. Asking myself what I need instead of what I want is NOT self-depriving at all.

Remarkably enough, what tastes best is what my body needs. Maybe I don't believe it, not in the moment, when the cheesecake is screaming at me. But 20 minutes from now, if I eat the cheesecake I won't feel so good. Might still not be feeling so good tomorrow, even.

But if I eat the yogourt and raspberries: I will feel good. And does anything actually taste better than fresh raspberries?

Gotta remind myself: I'll feel good if I eat what I need. Not what I "want". What I REALLY wanna eat is what I need to eat. Really.

Gotta keep right on reminding myself of this. Every day.

The real treat is treating myself well.

Giving myself what I need. When I do that, consistently, and when I have a healthy, fit and slim body, there are so many other ways to have fun. Real fun.

Eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted made me 230 pounds. And that was actually . . . no fun at all.



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STONECOT 1/25/2013 7:16PM

    It wasn't eating whatever I wanted that made ME fat! It was eating large amounts of what I wanted! Feeling I had to eat calories that I was 'owed' even though I wasn't hungry made me fat too. Add to this eating in front of the TV, so I couldn't remember what it was that I'd just eaten, and eating because it was there and I didn't want it to go to waste, All these, at various times have contributed their bit to making me fat. So now, I eat whatever I want, and enjoy the planning and cooking of it, but at mealtimes when, or if I'm hungry. I eat at the table with the TV/computer OFF, and concentrate on my food and eat it and savour it slowly. When I start to feel full, whats left on my plate goes into the bin, and leftovers, unless I can resurrect them as something else for another meal, they go into the bin too. No snacks and no seconds and no tracking. Now I'm losing the weight again.

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CHIASMA 1/25/2013 5:08PM

    Actually, I've found that if I allow myself to eat whatever I want, I wind up wanting healthy foods nearly all the time. I don't feel the need to stuff my face with junk because I know I'm allowed to have it if that's what I really want. It's not the forbidden fruit so it holds no power over me. If I do decide to make the 'naughty' choice, then I eat it the same way I eat everything else... slowly, so I can properly taste/enjoy it. when I'm not hungry anymore, it stops being enjoyable so I stop.

But as you say... the healthy food actually tastes better and is what my body craves. So when I ask myself what I want, more often than not it's full of fruit and veg.

When I try to deny myself, the opposite happens.

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SERASARA 1/2/2013 8:45PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PACKERMANN 1/2/2013 6:05PM

    VERY HELPFUL!!!

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KAYYAK1 1/2/2013 1:30PM

  Want and need are not just for food. I made a little sign and put it in a frame a year or so ago just to remind me of the difference.

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LAWANDMUSIC 12/29/2012 9:28AM

    I love spark people nutrition tracking. it tells me what I NEED. I try to get that done. Sometimes it is hard to get what I NEED. Rarely do I get to think about what I WANT.

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KANOE10 12/28/2012 2:28PM

    Excellent blog. I got to 242 eating what I wanted also...eating what you need to eat for your health is the way to go.

Have a wonderful day. emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 12/28/2012 11:35AM

  You are so right! What I 'want' is so often not what my body reeeeally wants (i.e., needs).

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MANDAROSE80 12/27/2012 10:17PM

    Well said. I will definitely add this to my motivators. What do I need to eat? Staying away from the what do I want to eat question should be helpful for me as well. emoticon

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LRSILVER 12/27/2012 8:18AM

    Great point of view. I sometimes think what do I want, but it should be what do I need. Did I get enought protein, carbs, calcium etc.
Thanks

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EMILYDOODLE 12/26/2012 10:48PM

  great blog!

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TINAJANE76 12/26/2012 4:06AM

    Wow, sooo very true! I keep waiting for the moment in maintenance where I don't always want to go on a feeding frenzy whenever my next mealtime rolls around, but it still hasn't happened. I think I need to accept the fact that it might not ever happen. In the meantime, I'll go on eating what I need to eat which, like you said, always makes me feel my best. Hot buttered bread may seem like a good idea when you're in the moment, but fresh seasonal fruit not only tastes even more amazing, but also makes me feel a whole lot better in the morning!

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FIRECOM 12/25/2012 10:26AM

    EXCELLENT POST thank you. This one is a keeper.

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SWEDE_SU 12/25/2012 4:13AM

    great blog - one simple question changes everything!

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STEVIEBEE569 12/25/2012 3:56AM

    emoticon

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LIBBYL1 12/25/2012 2:26AM

  hot bread with butter and cheese! yum....

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CM_GARDNER78 12/24/2012 10:18PM

    AWESOME! What do I NEED to eat! Perfect question!!! Great blog!

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BUTTERFLITTER 12/24/2012 5:48PM

  An awesome post. So true - what we want is often not good for us. Hope this prevailing truth will sink in. Will try to eat what I need and not what I want (junk, junk and more junk)

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NOTSOFLUFFYDAD 12/24/2012 12:09PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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SWIM53055 12/24/2012 11:28AM

  Very timely for me to hear! Thank you!

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ACTIONHEROFOX 12/24/2012 11:22AM

    emoticon

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LESSISMORE2010 12/24/2012 2:06AM

    Love this! I need to adopt this mindset. Thank you for sharing!

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FIT4MEIN2013 12/23/2012 9:55PM

    Fantastic!!!

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VALERIEMAHA 12/23/2012 8:36PM

    Extraordinary and profoundly insightful. The images on your SPage prove it!!!
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OKIE_NANA 12/23/2012 5:03PM

    Very good insights. Wandering through the produce department, I saw dark green leaf lettuce, fresh raspberries, and pecans. Instead of carefully counting lettuce leaves, I ripped off the top, tore it up added the raspberries a few pecans and some slivered rutabagus for bite. Probably added a raspberry vineagrette dressing. Really good. Didn't fit my husband's idea of good food but I sure enjoyed it.

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ARCHIMEDESII 12/23/2012 4:11PM

    Fantastic blog ! Very honest and very true. I spent many a year "eating whatever I wanted too". Figured as long as I was exercising, I could eat whatever I wanted. Well, that was a misconception on my part. If you want to lose weight, you really do have to be mindful of what you eat.

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SEATTLE58 12/23/2012 4:04PM

    emoticon emoticon You said it! That's me to a "T"!! Loved it and emoticon

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BERTA6978 12/23/2012 1:16PM

    Well Said! Thank you for reminding me to choose what my body needs. emoticon

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PHOENIX1949 12/23/2012 2:09AM

    Ah, Need vs. Want -- such a concise summary of the question at hand. Thanks for the wonderful reminder.

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PENOWOK 12/22/2012 12:38PM

    I have that same struggle! Nicely put! What do I want versus what is my real priority? Fuel or fat?!

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FIRECOM 12/22/2012 10:31AM

    NEWS FLASH. This is why SP is so strong on LIFE STYLE CHANGE. I know that I am committed to following this plan for the rest of my life regardless of whether I am at goal or not. I don't like knowing this, but it is true whether I "know" it or not.

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TDWANDD2MYK9 12/22/2012 4:49AM

    emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 12/22/2012 1:35AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JUSGETTENBY42 12/22/2012 1:21AM

    emoticon

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NEWCHINELO 12/21/2012 11:32PM

    Beautiful!thanks for sharing.


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CLAYARTIST 12/21/2012 10:44PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ILIKETOZUMBA 12/21/2012 10:36PM

    Your determination is great!! Way to go!

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JAMER123 12/21/2012 10:26PM

    I think we all fight our food wants with our mind wants. You stated it very well. Thank you for and inspiring blog!!

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/21/2012 9:38PM

    emoticon

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ROCKYCPA 12/21/2012 9:31PM

    Good for you!

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HEARTS116 12/21/2012 9:08PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 12/21/2012 8:12PM

  Very insightful.. the way you put i!!

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SHOAPIE 12/21/2012 7:44PM

    emoticon

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CMRAND54 12/21/2012 7:34PM

    Well said. You can eat anything you want, just not everything, all at the same time. It's all about making good decisions most of the time. Aim for fruits and vegetables, and lean protein, with some healthy starches and good oils.

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JIBBIE49 12/21/2012 7:26PM

    emoticon Happy Holidays emoticon

Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. What an honor. emoticon

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ALIDOSHA 12/21/2012 5:33PM

    emoticon

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ONLYTEMPORARY 12/21/2012 4:33PM

    emoticon

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LINDAK25 12/21/2012 1:54PM

    Fantastic! You are so right!

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MOMMY445 12/21/2012 1:48PM

    what a great blog! so well said and so well written! good luck on reaching your goals! you can do this! have a happy holiday and a wonderful new year!

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PATRICIAANN46 12/21/2012 1:24PM

  Excellent Blog!!!!! So very well written. emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

10 Extra Calories a Day . . . 911!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

If I eat 10 extra calories a day, I'll put on 1 pound in a year. And next year. And the year after. And in 10 years I'll have put on 10 extra pounds.

If I eat 100 extra calories a day, I'll put on 10 pounds in a year. And next year. And the year after. And in 10 years I'll have put on 100 extra pounds.

What's an extra calorie? A calorie I don't need to maintain the pounds I want to sustain. Which takes about 10 calories a pound a day. About 1400 calories a day. Max,

What's 10 extra calories? Not much. Maybe a couple baby carrots.

What's 100 extra calories? Not much more. A big apple.

The carrots are healthy. The apple is too.

And calories from nutritionally-dense healthy foods are obviously better for me than calories from junk foods, or nutritionally empty foods.

But for weight maintenance, it doesn't matter. Extra calories from healthy foods pile on the pounds just the same as extra calories from candy or chips or Coke.

When I'm on the elliptical cross trainer at the gym, I can see that burning 10 extra calories takes me about 1 minute of really vigorous effort.

Which means I can never exercise enough to compensate for over-eating. Weight loss and weight loss maintenance for me are 80% nutrition tracking. At least.

OK then. It's not the season of healthy foods. I'm not eating too many spears of new young asparagus or fresh raspberries, or blueberries, or even lightly steamed shrimp.

It's the season of crunchy pastry-wrapped appetizers and bacon-wrapped appetizers and fatty dips and stuffing, gravy, butter-mashed potatoes, hot rolls and butter and turkey with crisp skin and cranberry sauce and veggies drenched in more butter and sauces and . . . . It's the season of shortbread and eggnog and Yule logs (dessert variety) and pies and special cookies and special candies and chocolate covered almonds and . . . . It's the season of too many alcoholic drinks on offer which reduce my resistance to all of the preceding!

I'm just reminding myself. Little pep talk here. Those calories do add up and my body is tracking them, whether *I* track them or not.

Grrrrrrr. Determination, resilience, eternal vigilance. All continue to be necessary. Every day.

That's because It's also the season of little black dresses! It's the season of sleek black velvet trousers with sparkly tops! Trying something new with the hair, the makeup! Not the season of muu-muus and huge shapeless Tshirts and elastic-waist track pants and . . . no no no.

And: there's a connection here. Right?

Yeah. So: call 911 vanity assist, please. Vanity assist!! If that'll help, I'm gonna work it . . . yes I am!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATNCAG 9/9/2013 11:07AM

    What a great blog! It makes me realize that once I reach my goal weight I must continue on... I checked out your Spark Page also. Great pics & congrats on your weight loss & maintenance! U look great!

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NASFKAB 2/6/2013 5:36AM

  you can do it

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NASFKAB 2/6/2013 5:34AM

  you can do it

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SERASARA 1/9/2013 8:15PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EMILYDOODLE 1/4/2013 10:22PM

  thanks for the reminder. i love them cookies and candies, had them in moderation. did exercise everyday

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BERTA6978 12/23/2012 1:17PM

    Thanks for putting those extra calories in perspective and reminding us that whether or not we are tracking the extra calories, our bodies are.

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CM_GARDNER78 12/23/2012 12:29AM

    Wow - that is totally true!! I never really gave "just 10 calorie" much thought...but wow! That's a big impact!! Great blog - lots of food for thought! Thanks for posting!!

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LRSILVER 12/22/2012 7:37PM

    Thanks for the reminder.

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FIRECOM 12/22/2012 10:28AM

    I fully agree. I recently added my coffee to my tracking and was really surprised to see that it carries a 5 kcal per cup penalty. Not much, but like you pointed out so well. Every calorie really adds up. Just calculate the annual impact of a single can of sugared soda pop over a year. ARRRRGGGGH.

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/21/2012 8:16PM

    Friggin' awesome!

emoticon

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PEACEHOPE1 12/21/2012 7:09PM

    I really enjoyed your blog, thanks for sharing! It put a smile on my face AND gave me a lot to think about.

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BKLYNDIVA 12/21/2012 6:05PM

    Been there and done that lol, I guess that is how we all ended up here. Well stated.

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_LINDA 12/21/2012 6:21AM

    Congrats on a well deserved popular blog post! It will be great for more people to see it! Ties in nicely with an article by Becky Hand on how all those tiny bites add up quickly in a day! Something I surely needed to read today!
And I will bet you look fabulous in those described outfits!!
Fantastic awareness and perception! You have mindful eating down pat!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JENNIFERWEIDEN 12/20/2012 6:40AM

  You are a wonderful writer, and very inspirational. It is a good time for remembering that calories do count and that they do add up. I encourage those of you who have not read it yet (or visited the site or heard the free podcasts on youtube or itunes) to inform themselves about The Smarter Science of Slim, where I learned that NOT all calories are equal, some foods make you hoard fat and some you can eat basically without limits (don't worry about asparagus!). The science is amazing and very well studied, it's all backed up by 1000's of pages of research and it will change your whole outlook on this. Give it a shot!

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PENOWOK 12/17/2012 4:02PM

    Thanks for the pep talk!!

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NEWTINK 12/17/2012 3:25PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FAVORITEAUNT84 12/17/2012 11:54AM

    Great perspective!

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FARIS71 12/17/2012 9:59AM

    Tis the season for little black dresses indeed. Good reminder!

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DJSHIP46 12/17/2012 9:44AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NILLAPEPSI 12/17/2012 8:52AM

    Yes, you work it!! emoticon emoticon

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SIZE8NOTSOMUCH 12/17/2012 7:43AM

    You put it in such a great perspective. THANK YOU. Sometimes we need THAT kick in the pants!!!

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CICELY360 12/16/2012 10:45PM

  Good blog

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ROCKYCPA 12/16/2012 9:21PM

    Good blog - thanks for sharing!

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CLAYARTIST 12/16/2012 8:06PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ILIKETOZUMBA 12/16/2012 6:49PM

    Awesome pep talk! And heck YEAH it's the season of festive outfits!! LOL I love the vanity assist. :) A perfect way to stay motivated! Thanks! :)

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BRENNA84 12/16/2012 6:24PM

    so true! thanx for the reminder!

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MARYJEANSL 12/16/2012 5:39PM

  911 Vanity Assist - I love it! I also bought tons and tons of wonderful veggies at the Farmer's Market today. I refuse to think about the party I am going to tomorrow night!

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PHEBESS 12/16/2012 5:22PM

    So on target!

It's also the season of mandarin oranges, and winter squash, and those yummy soups you make, and oatmeal with apples for breakfast, and roasted root vegs. Right?

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NEWCHINELO 12/16/2012 5:01PM

    Oh my God! . . . Thanks for sharing and reminding me.

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111BUTTERFLY111 12/16/2012 4:47PM

    emoticon This was timely!

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GODS_TEMPLE 12/16/2012 4:43PM

    Thanks for the reminder. emoticon

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ALIDOSHA 12/16/2012 4:23PM

    emoticon

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WALLINMW 12/16/2012 3:53PM

  Great blog! It all adds up.


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WALLINMW 12/16/2012 3:52PM

  Awesome my friend!

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WILSON1926 12/16/2012 3:10PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KARRENLYNN 12/16/2012 2:59PM

    But oh that list of not good for me foods is just whispering to me! You are right though, too much of any food good or bad will cause trouble.

Stay strong, and have a happy healthy holiday season!

Karen

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JOANNHUNT 12/16/2012 2:45PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/16/2012 2:51:57 PM

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DALID414 12/16/2012 2:27PM

    Oh my! Good thing I ate before reading the list of the season foods!

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PATRICIAANN46 12/16/2012 2:08PM

  So well said........ emoticon

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FIT4MEIN2013 12/16/2012 1:28PM

    This is one of the best blogs I have read. Excellent! Merry Christmas! emoticon

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HEARTS116 12/16/2012 1:21PM

    emoticon emoticon

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TINAJANE76 12/16/2012 12:29PM

    Love this! I'm totally gearing up for the many challenges of the next few weeks. My vanity alert has been set off!

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JULIERAE41 12/16/2012 12:03PM

    You and I are on the same Holidays page! I decided at Halloween to be a Holiday Warrior and even set it as one of my goals! I determined the period between Halloween and Easter is the fat gaining time for me. NOT THIS YEAR! Way to go! Thanks for writing this blog!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHOAPIE 12/16/2012 11:41AM

    emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 12/16/2012 11:32AM

  unnerving way to put it

Thanks for the well written blog emoticon

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NEWMOM20121 12/16/2012 11:09AM

    great blog

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IAMAGEMLOVER 12/16/2012 10:33AM

    emoticon

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LIFETIMER54 12/16/2012 10:07AM

  emoticon

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WORKNPROGRESS49 12/16/2012 9:57AM

    emoticon

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DOLLFACEDX 12/16/2012 9:37AM

    Exactly right. . .just cause a food item is nutritious doesn't mean it's appropriate to eat too much!

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What I've Learned From My Wonder Dog, Charlie!

Sunday, December 09, 2012



I've read a couple of interesting insights into dog "ownership" recently.

Here in Canada, several universities have experimented with therapy dogs to assist students get through the stress of exam time. The students are away from home, under lots of pressure to do well in a tight job economy with soaring tuition fees . . . and student suicide rates are alarming. But: there are still lots of cynical comments about how students should just "toughen up"!! And also how exposure to trained therapy dogs will give students a false impression about how soothing and calming dogs actually are: because lots of dogs (especially young puppies) can be yappy and demanding and . . . . .

Then TEENYBIKINI has had a recent blog on just that topic: dogs (puppies in particular) can drive you nutz!

True enough. I've had demanding dogs. Our basset hound, Rufus, who could open the fridge and bite into every bag of milk and scatter carrots (before and after "processing") all the way across the kitchen floor. Our Irish water spaniel, Sabrina, who wore a groove in the back yard and jumped against the patio door vertically, smearing mud from top to bottom. A childhood spaniel, Skippy, who bit the postman . . . and lots more similar tales to be told.

Charlie had lots and lots of puppy socialization and obedience classes. He is extraordinarily intelligent: high IQ. And our other dogs had sufficient IQ plus schooling opportunities. But Charlie wanted to learn.

That's because Charlie really is a wonder dog. High EQ. He was born that way and we really can't take much credit for it. Our golden retriever's registration name is "Heart of Gold", and his formal handle is absolutely appropriate.

So what's Charlie taught me?

1. Be companionable. Golden retrievers are bred to sit quietly in a duck blind beside their hunters waiting to fetch the ducks. Charlie is happy just to be with me. He lets me know with his wise brown eyes and his ready smile. Life doesn't get better for Charlie than being right beside me.
2. Be patient. It could be a long cold day in the duck blind (or sitting under my computer desk: whatever). That's OK with Charlie. I can learn to be more patient. Whatever's happening will pass.
3. Greet every family member at the door whenever they come home. Nope, I don't wag like Charlie does. I don't bring a carefully selected stuffed toy to the door, the choice of toy often uncanny in mirroring the returning person's emotional state. (Sheep? Monkey? Fawn?) But greeting, I can handle that. And I can try to be responsive to the mood of my family members, like Charlie is.
4. Never judge, no matter what. There is no sin I can commit that matters to Charlie. Ever. And I need to be less judgmental too. To let people be.
5. Be joyous and generous with that joy. Charlie is. Being around Charlie's joy multiplies joy. For all of us. Even if the rest of us don't have infinitely soft golden fur!

The worst thing about having a dog like Charlie? It's not forever. Charlie is 8 years old now. You can see his muzzle and eyebrows are getting whiter.

So we have to cherish Charlie every day.

And we have to cherish each other every day.

I can't let Charlie down. I have to try to be as good a person as Charlie is. As good as he believes me to be. And the effort of doing that?

It's transformative.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILLOWBROOK5 12/23/2012 10:06PM

    How did I miss this blog? Charlie sounds fabulous with lots to teach those around him and endless love to offer. Give him a kiss on the nose for me. :-)

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SWAZY33 12/11/2012 1:11PM

    So true...
emoticon = unconditional emoticon
and they always seem happy emoticon



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NANCY- 12/10/2012 7:28AM

    What a beautiful blog. It is true that dogs can be challenging, but then as you have in Charlie, there are true treasures. What a wonderful gift to have in your life.

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SCOOTERGIRLOZ 12/10/2012 1:39AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Dogs are wonderful and a joy to have around. Thanks for your insight as I often wonder if I truly make Memphis happy. I feel guilty whenever I see him laying around with big sad eyes. But then, no matter what time it is when I finally am ready, Memphis bounces up and makes for the door. So maybe he is happy just to be around me.

May you and Charlie have an enjoyable long time together.

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_LINDA 12/9/2012 9:42PM

    Amen! I absolutley ADORE this wonderful photo of Charlie! Yes, the white face is a painful reminder that our companions get old and die too, and far too soon :( I hope you can enjoy many more special years with your buddy,
Hugs,
Linda

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DALID414 12/9/2012 4:45PM

    Awe! If Charlie was a man he'd be perfect!! emoticon emoticon

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ONMYMEDS 12/9/2012 4:31PM

    A beautiful blog. There is a lot we can learn from our animal friends, if we have the intelligence to do so.

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PHOENIX1949 12/9/2012 3:53PM

    emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 12/9/2012 3:49PM

    Awwwwwww . . . my dog is Mr. Spot the Wonder Dog and he's 11 (yup . . . got the gray around his muzzle too and is slower than he was, but still a puppy @ heart!) Our furbabies are treasures! HUGS

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NITTINNANA 12/9/2012 3:48PM

    Delightful!

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PHEBESS 12/9/2012 3:30PM

    Big smile on my face, big hug to Charlie! (And you!)

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SLENDERELLA61 12/9/2012 3:10PM

    Beautiful blog! I love Charlie vicariously already. Our Kahlua is definitely an asset to our family, although our sheltie who lived 16 years will never be replaced in my heart.

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/9/2012 2:35PM

    emoticon Great lessons! Well taught, Charlie!

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CMRAND54 12/9/2012 2:32PM

    What a wonderful dog you have! Unfortunately I have not been that lucky with dogs, but I see why Charlie is a delight to you and a good example. We all need to be less judgmental.

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CRYSTALJEM 12/9/2012 2:31PM

    Aw, ya made me get all blubbery again! Charlie sounds like my kInd of guy. You are so right. And we think we're training them, but they're pretty great teachers too.

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